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Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Parliamentary Panel Suggests Changes

 

Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Context

  • Recently, the parliamentary panel headed by Jairam Ramesh submitted a report, after reviewing the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill 2021.

 

Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Key points

  • The panel highlighted several concerns regarding the legislation and urged the Union ministry of environment to consider the recommendations of scientists and conservationists mentioned in the report.
  • Soon after the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, it drew criticisms citing several loopholes that could be exploited.
  • Several wildlife and legal experts are of the opinion that the provisions under the Bill were counterintuitive to the objectives of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

 

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Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Key criticisms

  • Standing committee of the state board for wildlife (SBWL): This proposed body will be headed by its vice-chairperson, a post to be held by the state’s forest minister, and should not have more than 10 members nominated by the panel chief.
    • Experts claimed that such a board would be “packed with official members” and end up being a “rubber stamp for faster clearance of projects”.
  • Subsection (4) to Section 43 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, specifically prohibits trade in wild animals including captive and wild elephants. The introduction of a new sub-section 4 takes away the protection from trade in elephants.
  • Some species were excluded from various schedules of wildlife and plants that have been proposed by the Environment Ministry.

 

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Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2022: Key recommendations

  • Standing committee of the state board for wildlife: This body must have as its members at least one-third non-official members, at least three institutional members (like the National Tiger Conservation Authority), and the director of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) or their nominee.
  • The House panel report has also recommended the deletion of subsection 4 and provide an explanation of provisions for transport of captive elephants.
  • The House Panel has recommended a revised listing of schedules to include the excluded species.

 

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